nobble

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English[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Verb[edit]

nobble (third-person singular simple present nobbles, present participle nobbling, simple past and past participle nobbled)

  1. (UK, Australia, slang) To injure or obstruct intentionally; batter.
    • 2011, Terry Ryder, "Affordable-housing lobby out to nobble investments", The Australian, 22 October 2011:
      Their core belief, unsupported by evidence or logic, is that homes are unaffordable because investors drive up prices.
      Australians for Affordable Housing appears to think that nobbling investors will strike a telling blow for first-time buyers: remove negative gearing and increase capital gains tax, and homes will be affordable.
    • 2012, Gavin Clarke, "Google attacks Twitter's search bias claim", The Register, 11 January 2012:
      Google has come out fighting after Twitter claimed that changes to its search engine nobble results to favour Google+, damaging the internet.
    • 2012, "3D printing: Difference Engine: The PC all over again?", The Economist, 9 September 2012:
      His main fear is that the fledgling technology could have its wings clipped by traditional manufacturers, who will doubtless view it as a threat to their livelihoods, and do all in their powers to nobble it.
  2. (UK, slang) To gain influence by corrupt means or intimidation.
    The jury was nobbled to delay unanimous verdict.
    • 2000, Italo Pardo, Morals of Legitimacy: Between Agency and System, page 122
      Unlike "noble" vigilantes, the police and court facilities which exist are said to be inefficient and corrupt, and juries are said to be easily "nobbled" or intimidated.
    • 2002, Kevin Jefferys, Labour Forces: From Ernie Bevin to Gordon Brown, page 107
      For example jury trials were reformed to allow majority verdicts, so that criminals could less easily nobble them.
    • 2012, Mark Hagger, William: King and Conqueror, page 75
      Here, though, Picot's overbearing power, and the fact that the bishop was an absentee, meant that the sheriff could use threats to "nobble" the judges.
  3. (UK, slang) To steal.

Usage notes[edit]

The first meaning is employed mainly in sporting contexts, especially in horse racing. The second is used in judicial contexts, applied often to courts, juries and other judicial bodies.